Digital Growth Scheme
Over one million businesses could be eligible for the state’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme as the Government looks to push forward with its plans for a digital revolution.
The scheme is designed to cut down the cost of leading technological software, boosting productivity within small businesses. Such a programme has taken even more precedence in this cost of living crisis, with many business owners simply unable to invest in more expensive pieces of technology.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have boosted the productivity of businesses by approximately 18% – according to figures from GovUK – and the Help to Grow scheme is designed to help business owners have accessibility to helpful digital systems such as this. Help to Grow offers discounts of up to £5,000 for software that is approved by the government.
Treasury Alan Mak, the Exchequer Secretary, was delighted with the possibilities of the new scheme.
“Extending our Help to Grow: Digital scheme will enable thousands more SMEs to become more innovative, more competitive, and more profitable,” he said.
“Helping them adopt new technology to support customers, manage accounts and sell online will save them time and money. This will boost productivity and help create jobs and prosperity across the UK.”
eCommerce software will also be made available to help drive sales and services online. There will be assistance on managing inventories, taking payments and gathering data on their customer base. eCommerce software increases employee sales by 7.5% over three years.
Murray Lambell, the Vice President and General Manager for eBay UK, said that the eCommerce plans can be a huge “boost” to the Government’s plans to “Level Up”.
“This is extremely welcome news for a significant number of the 300,000 small businesses who use eBay every day to grow their business. Many of our commercial sellers are micro-businesses who are extremely entrepreneurial but inevitably time poor.
“Being able to purchase e-commerce and other productivity-enhancing software at a discount could really help give rocket boosters to what are already fast-growing businesses,” he declared.
“And given that three quarters of our small businesses are based outside London and the South East, this also has the potential to boost the government’s Levelling Up agenda.”
Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said that a “lack of resources” was preventing the technological development of small-to-medium sized enterprises, adding that the schemes in place will help to address that issue.
He said: “We are very pleased to have worked hard with BEIS to adopt our task to expand the eligibility criteria of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme to support more small businesses getting the software they need.
“Our research shows the smallest firms are least likely to have adopted tech products because of the lack of resources although they would make the most productivity gains through adoption.
“It’s good that Ministers are listening. Together with the addition of e-Commerce software and one-to-one advice for SMEs on technology adoption, this will help small businesses enhance their operations and drive efficiency and growth.”
New Digital Age
The Government has been pushing to embrace the new technological wave for a long period of time and these schemes are the next step on their mission to bring British businesses into the digital new age. The pandemic demonstrated the importance of technology within business and that rise in demand will not disappear overnight.
If you are wondering whether or not your business qualifies for the schemes mentioned in this piece, you can check on GovUK.
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